‘I Love Lizzy’ is a Filipino-language romance film that revolves around Lizzy and Jeff’s love for each other. Jeff is a seminary college student on vacation in Bicol from his studies, while Lizzy is a tour guide who’s always on the lookout for another adventure and a chance to drink and party. Both of them are on the opposite end of each other, but that’s what attracts them and soon they become inseparable. In fact, Jeff is so much in love with Lizzy that he starts considering abandoning his path to priesthood, as that would mean not marrying and remaining celibate his entire life.
On the other hand, serving God is something that he’s always wanted and worked hard for. Which choice would Jeff ultimately make? Directed by RC Delos Reyes, the film stars Carlo Aquino and Barbie Imperial in the lead roles. A warm and fuzzy story with plenty of romance, ‘I Love Lizzy’ makes Jeff choose between his duty to Church, give him a chance to study and provide for him, and his love for Lizzy. This choice between one’s duty and one’s heart is something that many a character has wrestled with, albeit in different scenarios, throughout different stories. Some of these stories are even based on real-life instances. But does ‘I Love Lizzy’ ring true as well? Read on and find out!
Is I Love Lizzy a True Story?
Yes, ‘I Love Lizzy’ is a true story. According to the end credits, the screenplay – written by Rona Lean Sales and Erwin Blanco – is inspired by the true story of Ellice Tuason, one of the film’s producers. Though the details about Ellice’s story remain elusive, the basis of the story being her life is quite plain from the fact that the female character’s full name is Elizabeth Tuazon, which is strikingly similar to the producer’s own name.
But while we may never know who the real-life people involved in Ms. Tuason’s story might be, there is one other true-life tale from the Philippines itself that runs parallel to ‘I Love Lizzy.’ In December 2021, Father Roniel Sulit, a priest as well as a vlogger on YouTube, went viral after he posted one of his vlogs about a homily that he was giving at a wedding. The wedding in question was his ex-girlfriend’s.
Back when he was a young man, Father Roniel was deeply in love with his then-girlfriend Korina. However, fate intervened between them when Korina had to leave for the United States with her parents. But before she left, she promised Father Roniel that they would get married once she came back to the Philippines. And so Roniel waited — he waited for ten years, to be exact. When Korina did come back home, Roniel had already transformed into Father Roniel. But Korina hadn’t come back to reunite with her old flame either; she came back to ask him to officiate her wedding with her fiance, Manuel.
But while the wedding was officiated by one of Father Roniel’s colleagues instead, he was present there to give the homily and even made a vlog about it. In it, he detailed his former relationship with the bride and the bizarre circumstances they both found themselves in now. Though the vlog was removed from Father Roniel’s YouTube channel, it did garner millions of views until the time that it was up.
The storyline of ‘I Love Lizzy’ follows this extraordinary true tale of lost love quite closely. But whether or not it matches exactly with Ms. Ellice Tuason’s own story is between her and the screenplay writers. And though we may never be privy to the exact details of Ms. Tuason’s story, it is safe to say that actors Carlo Aquino and Barbie Imperial bring it to life on-screen rather well.
The story immediately takes off as soon as Jeff and Lizzy meet, the chemistry between them quite palpable. Lizzy’s wild, anything-goes and heavy drinking nature is in complete contrast with Jeff’s reserved seminarian but complements it well at the same time. Both the characters have been depicted so realistically, in fact, that one might feel like that’s how they are in real life as well. Which in itself is a credit to this brilliant and explosive film that in itself is based on a true love story.
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